When many people see a homeless person on the street, there is a tendency to move to the other side of the street, not knowing what to do. Then, there is a tendency to feel guilty for not doing anything to help. The question is, how do we have a compassionate heart? How do we look back past people’s circumstances and see the real needs of people?
We need to be healthy people. We need to be focused on positive self- worth as people who are charged with serving others as a way of life. We need to find our purpose and utilize our purpose in every situation. We need to be spiritually clean so that we will feel confident in helping others.
Where does enthusiasm come from? Enthusiasm comes from the Holy Spirit. When we are living a healthy life, the power of the Holy Spirit can fill up our life, and give us the enthusiasm it takes to interact with needy people and show the compassion of Jesus to people around us.
We need to be attentive to PEOPLE. Behind every needy circumstance is a person, who has gotten to the place of need by a series of twists and turns. Some are self-inflicted, but others are truly the events that happen in people’s lives. I met a man on the street in Nashville and he began to give me the “two dollar” hustle. I listened to him and he kept saying, “My dad died in 2005”…and everything changed from that moment. I told him, “until you go back to that moment and resolve your dad’s death, you will never be able to move forward.” I told him that God could be his replacement father if allowed. He didn’t get his two dollars, but hopefully he was impacted by the message.
We need to be careful to erase the language of alienation that borders on racism. Words like “those people” or “the people from that side of town”, or “those children” should be lost from our vocabulary. People are people and we need to treat people well, especially at the point of physical/spiritual need.
We need to tell people the truth. If you can help someone today, help them today. But don’t give the impression that you can help tomorrow if you can’t. Needy people are naturally not trusting. One of the greatest ways to minister to people past the immediate need, is to be truthful, and show up when you are supposed to. Be a person who can be counted on, and truly needy people will respond to your message.